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Fri, Jun 15, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Chen stresses need to target officials connected to gangs

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

In a meeting with lawmakers yesterday, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said that for the government to truly demonstrate its ability to crackdown on gangster and money politics it should not cower from public representatives who are widely known for their corruption.

"The crackdown on gangsters and criminal organizations should reach those individuals, so that the public will be able to believe in the government," Chen was quoted as saying by DPP lawmaker Chang Ching-fang (張清芳).

"If the government can keep these individuals from participating in the elections, or ensure they do not win, then we can say that we have been successful."

While Chen did not specify which lawmakers he was referring to, Chang said that Chen's comment referred to individuals like Lo Fu-chu (羅福助), the spiritual leader of the Tiendaomeng Gang (天道盟), Lin Ming-yi (林明義) and Wu Jzer-yuan (伍澤元).

DPP lawmakers also urged the president not to cooperate with such individuals even if it might help to temporarily stabilize the political situation or to gain a majority in the legislature.

"The main policy of the DPP is to oppose money and gangster politics and to lead this reform and those people are the target of our reform," Chen was quoted as saying.

"It would be impossible to cooperate with them. I believe that in this year's legislative elections Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) will be very successful in his efforts to crackdown on vote-buying."

During meetings with DPP lawmakers this week, Chen has stressed several times that the government will never cooperate with such individuals.

The DPP is expected to capture 85 seats in the year-end elections. With that number of seats in the Legislative Yuan, the ruling party would need another 35 seats to gain a solid majority. There are 225 seats in the legislature, of which the DPP currently holds 67.

Asked by DPP lawmakers who the DPP's partner would be after the year-end elections, Chen did not elaborate, lawmakers said.

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